The possibility of winning the $500 million Powerball drawing tonight is dancing in the heads of millions of Americans today. Some of them think it makes sense to spend a couple of bucks for the extremely long shot of landing what would amount to about a $350 million-payout after taxes. Others are banking on winning (if not this time, then later) and spending too much on lottery tickets even when the jackpot doesn't make national headlines. (They are making local ones, too.)
Both groups would be wise to consider the real-life stories of mega lottery winners. The quick, easy money would seem to be life's panacea. Too often, though, the winners have found themselves in a pretty bad way only years after celebrating: The lottery's unluckiest winners
I believe Oprah Winfrey said that money doesn't change a person, it only reveals his character. There's wisdom in that statement. Giving a drunk or unfocused person a ton of money, instantly, is bound to lead to bad things. Even sensible people who have to undergo such a drastic change might not be able to handle it. I think we all know this intuitively. Then why do so many of us have dreams of massive lottery winnings making our hearts skip a beat?